News Column

Besharam: Social networking whiplash [Financial Express (India)]

October 11, 2013


Besharam has opened well with Rs 21.56 crore, but director Abhinav Kashyap is disturbed about the negative response that the film has received on social networking sites

Did the opening day collection of Rs.21.56 crore (official figure from Reliance) meet your expectations?

I expected


to do better, but I am very satisfied with the collections. They are highest in my career and Ranbir Kapoor's too. For Reliance, it is their fourth highest opening. In UK the film opened in the top 10 grossers on the first day. It has done very well in Punjab, UP, Rajasthan, Delhi and Mysore. But it has not performed in Maharashtra which is the biggest territory, and neither has it done well in Mumbai. There are some other smaller territories where it has not matched our expectations.

What have the reactions been like?

They have been extremely polarised. But people on the internet and Twitter have thrashed it and are re-tweeting each others comments. The negativity on the internet is humungous. I must admit that we, my producers and I are suffering because of this. But what can we do? It was a simple and entertaining film. I don"t know if people were expecting some meaning out of it. But obviously, the fact that Ranbir's character is 'shameless" didn"t get across to some people.

You think you could have done away with certain sequences like Rishi Kapoor sitting on the toilet seat and Ranbir Kapoor peeing in the fields?

I will do a postmortem and introspection once the film has had its run, but there are definitely contradictory signals about this. The intelligentsia might question me about those scenes, but I obviously thought that it was very funny and so did Rishi Kapoor. In fact Ranbir also wanted to do the film and was fine with the mannerisms of his character, Babli. A director is not a dictator who insists that the actors should do certain scenes because he's paying them. Everyone read the script and it was all planned and we felt that it was very funny. I may have gone wrong, but I think it's too early to say.

All kinds of cinema is being made in the country. There was

Grand Masti

before this which did fabulous business. I guess, my film should be viewed in the right context. There's a segment, who have turned up their noses. But what is most disappointing for me is how the critics totally lambasted the film which is doing serious damage.

Has there been some positive feedback as well?

Yes, there have been some positive reviews which say, if you look for the


in the film you will enjoy it. I succeeded half way because a lot of people are enjoying it. My co-writer and cameraman who had gone to Gaiety, a single screen in Mumbai, said that they couldn"t hear the dialogues because people were laughing loudly.

What was there in


? It was just an entertaining film. I don"t think we set out to deliver any great message. That film was my learning ground and I picked up things about what people enjoy and tried to incorporate such entertaining moments in this film too. In


, Salman's character was also carefree and


. I thought a little bit of crudeness was fine and tried to incorporate that into


as well.

What has been the reaction from the industry and are you planning your next film?

The industry has gone silent on me for some reason. I think everyone's too scared to say anything. The people I have worked with have responded positively, but others are staying silent. Let the film finish its run and let me see the kind of business it does. After that I will take a break and start thinking about my next. As of now, I don"t know where I stand.

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